Hip Hop Is Dead

  • Record Label: Def Jam
  • Release Date: Dec 19, 2006
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Nas has made a passionate album to reawaken your love of the art and if your heart isn't thumping in your chest by the end then it's not hip-hop that's dead, it's you.
  2. It contains a smart, tight, cohesive analysis of where rap went astray, but also the seeds of the genre's rebirth and renewal.
  3. The fun comes easier when he fools around with the title conceit, and even sometimes when he thinks about it.
  4. A Dante-channeling journey through the many diverse facets of hip-hop.
  5. Nas's insight, erudition and poetic intensity override all other concerns.
  6. Mojo
    90
    It is Nas's poetic erudition that makes it a stone cold classic. [Mar 2007, p.100]
  7. Hip-Hop Is Dead... brings out the best in the emcee, who might have produced his strongest lyrical performance since Illmatic.
  8. Here’s the thing about Nas’s old-fashioned approach to hip-hop: It still works.
  9. Vibe
    80
    Disorienting and sometimes brilliant. [Jan 2007, p.109]
  10. Nas pushes lyricism and technical virtuosity to the forefront here, stretching both his own boundaries and those around him.
  11. You don't have to agree with the prognosis (even Nas has a change of heart by the end) to relish the furious eloquence with which it's delivered.
  12. Nas has always sounded older than his years, but there are moments on his eighth album when he sounds like the lead in the hood version of Grumpy Old Men.
  13. More than Illmatic, it represents the real Nas-- not the ideal-- the MC with all the skill, all the rhymes, and all the insight who sabotaged himself with bad decisions.
  14. Hip Hop Is Dead is a lot like Nas himself: impossible not to admire, but hard to love.
  15. Like many of his previous efforts, lyrically and conceptually, it's second-to-none. But musically and in terms of execution, it doesn't always hit the mark.
  16. Hip Hop Is Dead is not Illmatic.
  17. "Hip Hop Is Dead" feels bloated and a little self-indulgent at 16 songs, not all of which are as essential as the first few, but that doesn't change the legitimacy of the point Nas is trying to make, or the guts he shows in making it.
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 146 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 74
  2. Negative: 4 out of 74
  1. Jan 7, 2016
    10
    a true masterpiece. great lyricism, dope production. Nas does it again. another album worth listening to again and again. this album is upa true masterpiece. great lyricism, dope production. Nas does it again. another album worth listening to again and again. this album is up there with his past works of pure rawness. Full Review »
  2. May 8, 2015
    9
    Nas fully delivers on this album with great lyrics on a consistant basis, an awesome panel of guests and an A+ production. The album isNas fully delivers on this album with great lyrics on a consistant basis, an awesome panel of guests and an A+ production. The album is poetic, well thought and intelligent, as you would expect from an artist in the top 5 of the best rappers of all-time. Nas assures a good cohesion through the album and really says what is actually wrong with hip-hop and it is even more powerful to hear it from a rap icon like him. Full Review »
  3. Mar 22, 2015
    8
    7.8/10................................................................................................................................................